Stepping up in Faith, Sharing our blessings
Our stewardship theme for 2018 focuses on sharing our blessings to ensure that St. Andrew’s has the resources we need to continue to support our parish community, our charitable work, and our worship through liturgy. We are asking parishioners to “Step Up in Faith” and help us reach our campaign goal of $1 million for 2018.
As you think about your pledge, I hope you’ll reflect upon all that St. Andrew’s offers us in our busy lives and our complicated world. To maintain and strengthen our programs, we need everyone’s support. Please join me stepping up for St. Andrew’s.
Chair, 2018 stewardship committee
A pledge to St. Andrew’s is a financial promise and commitment to support our parish and its missions in the coming year. Your pledge is an act of faith that connects you more deeply to our church. Many find spiritual joy in making a generous pledge to support God’s work through the church. While pledges guide our budget for the year, they can be adjusted, up or down, if your circumstances change.
From a practical viewpoint, stewardship is a shared responsibility and duty that we undertake to care for and maintain our parish and its missions. It is the combined energy and financial support of families and individual members that make possible all that we are and do as a parish. Pledges and gifts provide roughly 76% of the funds for our annual parish budget.
We are asking parishioners to “step up” their pledges, so that St. Andrew’s is well resourced to help all of us to step up in our faith and to experience more fully Christ’s presence in our lives.
Some of our specific campaign aims are to:
- Broaden our pledging base — we are overly reliant on a few generous and older members
- Reduce our dependence on annual draws from the endowment
- Provide funding to expand our digital communications
- Fully fund our new informal service
- Maintain staffing levels
- Increase outreach spending
Members of the Episcopal Church are expected to support their parish through generous pledges of their time and talent (through volunteering) and treasure (through financial pledges). You are not required to pledge to attend services and participate in parish life, but we ask that you support your fair share of our parish expenses and operating costs, in proportion to your resources.
No, we don’t—it’s the other way around! Episcopal churches are usually financially independent, raising most of their operating funds from members. Unlike some churches (e.g., Roman Catholic), we are not funded from the top down. Your pledges or gifts go directly to our parish, and we are then charged an annual assessment to help fund the diocese, supporting it and the missions of the Episcopal Church throughout the world. This assessment (about $132,640 in 2017) is the second largest line item in our budget.
We are asking three things of all parishioners:
- Please pledge! Your pledge is a commitment to support St. Andrew’s financially in 2018. Goal: 300+ pledges.
- Please increase your pledge! This year, we are challenged by the loss of several very generous donors. Please “step up” and be as generous as you can.
Goal: $1 million in pledges and gifts.
- Please pledge on time! Timely pledges are essential for prudent budgets and planning. Goal: 285 pledges in by Commitment Sunday, November 19.
We all receive many requests from worthwhile charities and organizations—but remember that St. Andrew’s depends on a relatively small number of pledges (~300) for the majority of its budget. Please give St. Andrew’s a high place in your annual giving, and make a pledge that feels to you like a major gift!
This is a very personal decision, but there are guiding principles. The Biblical tithe of 10% of income is a worthy goal, and some members joyfully reach this pinnacle. At St. Andrew’s, we suggest an initial goal of 2% of income, and encourage you to move up in increments of 1% of income towards a full (or fuller) tithe. Our average gift in 2017 was $3000.
Whatever level of giving you are at, we ask that you consider increasing your pledge for 2018, making the most generous pledge you can. You can see the general distribution of pledges for 2017 in the chart below. We encourage you to examine the chart, examine your heart, and if you are able, step up for 2018!
Stewardship Campaign Testimonials
I hope you are having a good start to Thanksgiving week. Yesterday, we celebrated St. Andrew’s Day and it was also Commitment Sunday. Nancy Hancock, one of our church wardens, gave the final personal testimony of the stewardship season. She spoke very movingly of what St Andrew’s has meant to her and her family during the joys and challenges of life, particularly in the last year. Read about what Nancy had to say below.
Many of you have made your pledge to St. Andrew’s for 2018 and many of you have generously increased your pledges. If you have not yet made your pledge we would encourage you to do so as soon as possible, so that the vestry can finalize the budget for 2018.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Chair, 2018 stewardship committee